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Get to Know the Family-Based Green Card Processing Time in Detail

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Family-Based Green Card Processing Time

As a family-based green card applicant you must be eager to know the processing time. The unfortunate news is that a green card application can take a long time to be processed. The length of a green card application depends on factors such as the type of application, and the processing time of USCIS. When it comes to family-based green card applications, the exact time taken can depend on the relationship basis of the green card eligibility, your nationality, whether USCIS require additional documents from you or not, and other factors. In this blog, we have covered the exact processing time of family-based visa applications. 

Start to Finish Timelines for Family-Based Green Cards 

A total of 4 factors influence the family based green card processing time. Green card applications generally take a lot of time to get processed, and the exact application time depends on the individual situation. 

Family-Based Green Card Processing Time
  • The relationship between the sponsoring family and you. The processing time also depends on whether the sponsoring family member is a US permanent resident or a citizen. 
  • If you are applying for a green card from the US or outside the US
  • Whether USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) requires you to submit additional documents for the certification process
  • It also depends on the USCIS backlog

Generally, USCIS released the time takes to process the application each quarter for all forms.

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Family Based Green Card Processing Time: For Spouses

The family based green card processing time for spouses would depend on whether your spouse is a PR holder or citizen of the USA. The country of your current residence is also applicable.

Family-Based Green Card Processing Time

If you live in the US and your spouse is a US citizen 

This type of application has the fastest visa application time. At present, it takes around 18-22 months to issue a permanent resident card for the recipient. The visa application process is fast because you can file Form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative)and Form I-485 (Application for Adjustment of Status) at the same time. This method is also known as concurrent application filing. It is also possible to apply for a work permit at the time of waiting for a decision regarding your green card.

If you live outside the US but your spouse is a US citizen 

The family based green card processing time can take around 12.5-26 months for those who live outside the US but their spouse is a US citizen.

If your Spouse is a US permanent resident

it can take around 18 months to process the (Form 1-130). After the processing of Form I-130, you will have to wait for more time for the green card availability. The U.S. Department of State’s Visa Bulletin will provide details of your priority date.

Later on, you can apply for a green card from within the US or outside the US (US consulate). It can take around 2 years to process your green card application. At times, the entire process can take 3 years. For some countries, the family based green card processing time can take longer. For example, Indian, China, Mexico, and the Philippines.

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Family Based Green Card Processing Time: For Widows 

Family-Based Green Card Processing Time

A US citizen’s widow or widower can apply for a green card. However, they must apply for the green card within 2 years of the death of their spouse. The application process and the processing time are just like the marriage-based applicants. However, instead of Form I-130 (the family relationship form), they need to file for Form I-360. The Form I-360 is for widows and is called Special Immigrant or Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er).

Family Based Green Card Processing Time: For Children

The green card processing time for children depends on 2 factors- the age of the child, and the marital status of the child. Below we have described the processing time for such applications.

Family-Based Green Card Processing Time

Minors (children under the age of 21) of US citizens

No limit is set for the number of green cards issued to a US citizen’s children. That is, those who fall under the minor category. Minors generally get their green card applications processed within 1-2 years.

Minors (children under the age of 21) of a US Green Card Holder 

The sponsors of these children will have to fill out the form I-130. Then, they will have to wait for the green card availability. After that, they can apply for a US green card.  They will fall under a similar category as the spouses of green card holders. Generally, it would take 2 years for a Green card to be available, and the entire process can take up to 3 years. The application process can be longer for minors who are Indian, Chinese, Mexican, or Filipino.

Adult Children (Unmarried) of US Citizen

The Adult Children (Unmarried) of US Citizens can also apply for a green card. However, for them, the family based green card processing time is 7-8 years. Those from the Philippines will have to wait for more than 10 years. On the other hand, applicants from Mexico will have to wait for more than 20 years to get a green card.

Adult Children (Unmarried) of Green Card Applicants 

The adult children unmarried of green card applicants will have to wait for 8-10 years. On the other hand, the processing time for citizens of the Philippines is 10+ years. Those from Mexico will have to wait for more than 20 years!

US Citizen’s Married Adult Children

 A US Citizen’s Married Adult Children will have to wait for 13-14 years to obtain the green card. On the other hand, the citizens of the Philippines and Mexico will have to wait for more than 22 years to get a green card.

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Family Based Green Card Processing Time: Parents of US citizens

There is no limit on the number of green cards to be processed for parents of a US citizen.  Generally, parents of US citizens can get a green card within 1-2 years.

Family Based Green Card Processing Time: For Slibings 

Family-Based Green Card Processing Time

The family based green card processing time for siblings are different for applicants from certification countries. Generally, the green card processing time is around 14-16 years. However, Indian citizens will have to wait for more than 16 years to get a green card. Mexico citizens will have to wait for 20 years and the citizens of the Philippines will have to wait more than 24 years!

Note: Other than spouses, minors, and parents almost every other applicant will have to wait for the green card availability.

How to Check Your Family-Based Green Card Processing Time Visa Application Status?

Family-Based Green Card Processing Time

First, know the USCIS service centre or field office that is processing your application. Generally, this is the same as the office you have set the green card application to. However, in certain cases, the application can be transferred to another office. In case of a transfer, you will receive a mail regarding the same.

Those who have submitted the visa application while they were in the US can visit the official website of the USCIS. Use the case status tracker tool to check the status. Another method is to call the USCIS National Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283. No matter which method you choose to check the status of your green card application, you need to know your application receipt number. The application receipt number has 3 letters and 10 numbers. On the receipt notice provided by USCIS, the number is specified.

Watch the video below to learn more about checking the green card application status

Credit: @BoundlessImmigration

Checking Green Card Application Status While Living Outside the US

Those who are living outside the US wil have to check the consular processing timeline. For an applicant who is living outside the US, the USICS processes the application first. Next, the application is sent to the U.S. Department of State’s National Visa Center (NVC). Later on, NVC would send the details of the application status to the US consulate or embassy near you.

After the NVC has received your case, you will receive an immigrant visa case number. The immigrant visa case generally has 14 numbers (3 letters and 11 numbers). Check the welcome letter sent by NVC to know the case number, and use the same to check the status of the green card application. You can visit the U.S. Department of State’s online website to check the status. You can also directly call at (603) 334-0700.

10 Countries with the Highest Family Sponsored Waiting List Registrants (2023) 

The following are the countries with the highest family-sponsored waiting list registrants.  [These countries made up 75.7% of the total list].

Country NameNumber of Registrants 
Mexico1.2 M
Philippines279.6K
Dominican Republic283.7K
India254.2K
Bangladesh216.1K
Vietnam223.5K
China167.2K
Pakistan137.2K
El Salvador78.4K
Haiti117.9 K

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FAQs

How long does it take to get a green card through family member?

The parents, spouses, and dependent children have a shorter waiting time for the green card application processing. Other family members generally have a longer waiting time. In the US, between October 2022 – and September 2023 the median waiting time was around 11.8 months.

What is the current wait time for a green card for India?

The waiting time for an Indian green card applicant (B-3 Green Cards for Skilled Workers & Professionals) is around 11 years and 2 months.

What is the approval rate for family green card?

The approval rate for the family green card application is around 88%. Each year around 810,558 immigrants apply for the same.  The denial rate on the other hand is approximately, 12%.

We hope you understand everything about Family-Based Green Card Processing Time. Want to apply for a Visa for your study abroad journey? Drop us a comment in the section below, or you can connect with a visa expert at Leverage Edu, and we will guide you on your dream journey!

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